17 Oct 2016
TWO huntsmen from the Borders have been accused of deliberately hunting a fox with a pack of dogs.
Jedforest Hunt members Johnathan Riley, 23, and 66-year-old John Richardson pleaded not guilty to the charge at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
The pair from Abbotrule, Bonchester Bridge, deny deliberating hunting a wild mammal while acting with others on land surrounding Townfoothill near Jedburgh, on February 18.
No huntsmen have yet fallen foul of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, but two individuals have been convicted for hunting foxes with dogs and 10 for hare coursing.
While the hunting of wild mammals with dogs is outlawed in Scotland, amendments were made to the Bill to allow fox hunting to continue in a different form.
It is legal to use dogs to flush a fox from cover for it then to be shot, as long as this is done as a form of pest control.
The Act further states that no offence is committed if the dog kills the fox during the course of this activity, but only if it was not the huntsman’s intention that it does so and is regarded as an accident.
Hounds are also used to kill foxes that have been wounded by the gunmen or are otherwise seriously injured or diseased.
Riley and Richardson will stand trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on January 10 with an intermediate diet hearing scheduled for December 12.
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